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09/12/2008 ~ The Utility Board approved marketing and leasing fiber optic communication to local governmental agencies during their regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, September 10th.

In February 2007, the Utility Board authorized Keys Energy Services’ (KEYS) staff to proceed with the deployment of a 96-strand fiber optic network within KEYS’ service area.

“The leasing of fiber to local governmental agencies will help defray costs to KEYS and offer a service to governments that would not otherwise have been available,” said Lynne Tejeda, KEYS’ general manager & CEO.

Fiber optic communication is a method of transmitting information from one place to another by sending light through an optical fiber. The light forms an electromagnetic carrier wave which is modulated to carry information from point A to B.

In other business, the Board motioned to seek input from KEYS’ Advisory Committee on the future of KEYS’ Big Pine Key Customer Services Center. KEYS’ current lease for the office space at 13 Ships Way is set to expire in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009*.

During the FY 2009 Strategic Planning session, the Utility Board directed KEYS’ staff to conduct an analysis of the Big Pine Key office and to determine if, and how, KEYS could provide similar customer services currently provided at the Center to customers in the northern-most region of KEYS’ service area.

“After a thorough analysis, KEYS’ staff determined closing the Center was the most viable option and would save the Utility approximately $250,000 per year in operating expenses,” said Tejeda. She added that, “after hearing staff’s input, the Board decided to seek input from KEYS’ Advisory Committee before making a final decision on the future of the Center.”

The Utility Board approved the creation of the Advisory Committee in 1998 under the auspices of providing the Board and KEYS’ staff with community input on various issues related to the Utility. The Advisory Committee is set to discuss the future of the Big Pine Key Customer Services Center in September and will make their recommendation to the Utility Board in time for the October 8th Board meeting when a final decision will be rendered.

The regular meeting of the Utility Board took place at 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 10th, in the Louis Carbonell Board Room of the William Arnold Service Building, 1001 James Street, Key West.

*KEYS’ Fiscal Year runs from October 1st to September 30th

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